Welsh Architect to Renovate Hamlet Country Club

Welshman Ian Scott-Taylor will conduct an in-depth study on the restoration of the golf course at the Hamlet Country Club in Delray Beach, Fla., one of the flagship courses designed and built by American golf architect great, "Gentleman Joe Lee."

Lee (1921-2002) designed and renovated more than 250 courses throughout the U.S. during his career. Noted for considering all levels of players, Lee designed the 18-hole regulation golf course at the Hamlet Country Club in 1972 and it opened for play in 1973.

The course, set inside an exclusive, gated neighborhood in South Florida, has undergone renovations over the years. These projects, coupled with the impact of repeated hurricanes, have resulted in many holes taking a different shape than Lee's original vision. This winter, the Hamlet's Green Committee contracted with Taylor to study each of the 18 holes and the course as a whole. Chair Carol Novarro said, "We knew we had a match with Ian Scott-Taylor when he walked the course and gave us feedback on each hole, which was a match to Joe Lee's suggestions that he gave us before his death in 2002."

recommendations to the committee in early spring 2008 by way of a Long Range Improvement Plan that encompasses the spirit of Lee's original design. Of the task, Scott-Taylor said, "Joe's courses in the area are being completely remodeled, losing his distinct style and character. I'm restoring 'the Hamlet' to his vision. This should not only be a course to visit on a golfer's course list, but one he or she might be fortunate enough to be invited to play - a must of great courses in South Florida. Next to Cog Hill, the Hamlet embodies all of Joe's little tricks and philosophies, every visit is a historian's dream, I just feel Joe's keeping an eye to make sure I get it right."

Work on the course renovation is to begin May 2008. In addition to the golf course, the Hamlet's clubhouse will undergo a complete renovation.